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The Indiana Daily Student

campus student life

UPDATE: IUSG begins internal investigation into accusations of antisemitism

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The IUSG Congressional Oversight and Finance Committee will hold two public hearings this week as part of their investigation into allegations that IUSG leadership has failed to address antisemitism on campus. The committee will hold hearings at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday in Ballantine Hall Room 146. These hearings will be open to the public. 

The Oversight and Finance Committee announced this week it will add a third hearing as part of its investigation, which will take place 1 p.m. Sunday in the Indiana Memorial Union Persimmon Room.

As of Nov. 13, a total of five IUSG executive members have resigned from their positions after two executive members resigned and wrote in a letter including claims that IUSG Student Body President Aaliyah Raji made antisemitic comments and leadership failed to advocate for the entire student body.

According to screenshots of the IUSG Teams chat from IUSG Executive Branch Treasurer Alex Kaswan, he and Co-Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Makiah Pickett – who wrote the letter to the student body — resigned Nov. 13.

External Chief of Staff Patrick Lee, Internal Chief of Staff Abby DeArmitt and Congressional Secretary Abigail Garrison have also resigned from their positions since Nov. 13, according to screenshots of the IUSG Teams chat. Lee, DeArmitt and Garrison did not respond to requests for comment and the Indiana Daily Student could not confirm if their resignations were associated with the allegations.

According to Recorder Aidan Chism, the letter of resignation was submitted Nov. 13.

In a statement posted to IUSG’s Instagram Nov. 16, the Congress Steering Committee release stated the Oversight and Finance Committee is investigating these allegations.

“When Congress gets word that an incident has happened within student government, the Committee on Oversight will basically become the unbiased judicator here,” Chism said. “We will call in all relevant parties and ask them to come in and speak to us, at which point we will ask if there is any documents, recordings and testimony that we need to know.”

Chism noted the process is similar to that of oversight hearings in U.S. Congress.

“I want to make it clear that we are not stopped as an organization,” Chism said. “Things that need to get done will continue to get done. We are doing everything in our power to make sure that this doesn’t get forgotten about. We are going to do due diligence here.”

Raji, Koda, Pickett, Kaswan, Garrison, Lee, DeArmitt, Indiana Israel Public Affairs Committee President Ethan Fine and Representative Abby Rose of the Chabad House Jewish Student Center were all subpoenaed by the Oversight and Finance Committee for these hearings, according to IUSG records. The committee also subpoenaed IU Hillel President Rachel Applefield. 

According to Oversight and Finance Internal Resolution No. 1, any person who refuses formal subpoena will be disregarded by the committee for the investigation.

Four items have been brought in as evidence including Kaswan and Pickett’s letter of resignation, a letter from Raji addressed to the student body, a letter from Raji and Koda addressed to the student body – which recognized their failure to address issues regarding antisemitism and promised to protect Jewish students from hate — and posts from Fine’s X account addressing his interactions with Raji regarding issues surrounding antisemitism on campus.

“The one thing that I think, personally, that we have to do is regain the trust of the student body, and also be transparent,” Chism said. “I think it is important for us to be transparent and be fair to all parties involved because that is what the student body deserves.”

Additionally, IUSG encourages students to express concerns by submitting the student feedback form found on the IUSG website.

Raji, Koda and Pickett also did not respond to a request for comment.

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to reflect the committee added a third hearing and subpoenaed IU President Rachel Applefield.

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